I've just arrived back from Edgefest 2003. Before I give a brief review of the six bands I saw, I'd like to reflect on the fact this was the last ever concert at Molson Park in Barrie, appropriately enough labelled "Last Bash in Barrie". Apparently the park is going to be made into yet another strip mall. That's a shame, because I've enjoyed many a spectacular concert at this venue. If you were to ask me what my favourite concert venue is, the answer would be Molson Park in Barrie. I'm seriously going to miss the ol' dust bowl. But I digress...
Fefe Dobson - Fefe was the newcomer to the Edgefest lineup. Although her current single "Bye Bye Boyfriend" gets plenty of air play, I didn't know what to expect from this young Torontonian. She was surprisingly good. Polished and tight, she won me over fairly quickly.
Sloan - What can I say about Sloan? I've loved Sloan from the first moment I heard "Underwhelmed" in the early '90s. It wasn't my first time seeing Sloan, and they were great as usual. As far as I'm concerned, these Haligonians can do no wrong. I only wish they would play something from Smeared.
Stereophonics - Out of necessity (they were missing their drummer), the Stereophonics performed a stripped-down acoustic set. I'm far from their biggest fan, so this fact lacked a certain significance to me. The coolest factoid about this band from South Wales is that they were originally called Tragic Love Company, partly because of their fondness for our very own Tragically Hip. Under blue skies and very close to the stage, their unplugged performance was quite pleasant.
Finger Eleven - This is a band that sounds better and better each time I see them. Tonight they rocked hard. "Good Times" is proving to be one hell of a closer for their live shows. Burlington should be proud.
Our Lady Peace - This was my second time seeing OLP and I consider myself a pretty big fan. Their entire performance was awesome. Even the two new songs they introduced had the crowd singing along by the second verse. Highlights include "Naveed" with "Life" inserted during the break down and the crowd-sung "4am". Any other Edgefest and Toronto's Our Lady Peace would have been your headliner. Setlist: All For You, Whatever, Superman's Dead, Naveed (Life), Innocent, Is Anybody Home?, Wipe That Smile Off Your Face, Walking in Circles, Birdman, Clumsy, 4 AM, Somewhere Out There, Starseed.
The Tragically Hip - To say I'm a big Hip fan would probably be understating it somewhat. I've now managed to see the Hip six times since new year's eve 1999. I simply can't get enough of this band from Kingston, Ontario. I love every track on every CD and every chord live is a blessing. As usual, the Hip were killer. There was no better way to say goodbye to Molson Park than with the Hip rocking out with "Little Bones". There's a reason this is my favourite band of all time. Hip! Hip! Hip! Hip! Hip! Hip!
Setlist: Fire In The Hole, Grace Too, Poets, Dare Devil, Silver Jet, Boots or Hearts, Looking For A Place To Happen, Nautical Disaster, Ballroom, 100th Meridian, Springtime In Vienna, Joe, Locked In A Trunk Of A Car, Wheat Kings, New Orleans Is Sinking, 50 Mission Cap, Puttin' Down, Little Bones.